The ABC Clinical
Guide To Herbs
By Mark Blumenthal
480 pages, $69.95; Hardcover, ISBN: 1-58890-157-2
Reviewed by Robert Schulman, MD
This book is a worthy addition to the library of any medical practitioner for a number of reasons. It has a section in the back with a post-test, and applications for CME for dietitians, naturopaths, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians.
The book reviews 29 single herbs and 13 proprietary products. The herbs were chosen mostly because they are among the top-selling herbs or herbal teas. Each single herb chapter contains an overview, description of the herb material, uses, dosage, durations of administration, chemistry, pharmacological actions, mechanisms of actions, contraindications, adverse effects, drug interactions, American Herbal Products Association's safety rating, clinical review, and table of clinical studies. The branded products chapters follow a similar but more abbreviated style. The content for each herb is very complete.
A book such as this sets an excellent example for prospective texts. In the near future, one can hope comprehensive herbal texts will be available with information portrayed in an equally rational manner. In the current Western herbal material medica, at least 100 herbs are in use that have some peer-reviewed literature to support their efficacy.
While this evidence is often not in the form of a controlled double-blind trial, it is still helpful. Additionally, the physician using herbs or advising their patients who use herbs, may also want to explore their traditional and ethnobotanical uses.
Dr Robert A. Schulman practices Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, Medical Acupuncture, and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in New York, NY.
Robert A. Schulman, MD, FAAPMR, DABMA, FAAMA*
104 E 40th St, #702
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-983-1166 • Fax: 212-983-1161
*Correspondence and reprint requests
An Anatomical Approach
By Houghi Dung, Curtis P. Clogston, Joeming W. Dunn
232 pages; $12.99
Reviewed by Eric Hsu, MD
I was very eager to open this book and start reading. One of the authors, Dr Clogston, wrote the preface and it was both a mental and intellectual journey. Dr Dung's inspiration has propelled this book forward to the benefit of many readers' patients.
The first chapter, "Acupuncture and Medicine," promotes an anatomical approach and the concept of "neuromodulation." This was meant to differentiate acupuncture as an art based on traditional Chinese medicine.
The 2nd chapter focuses on the characteristics of acupoints and their significance. It was an interesting description on conversion of acupoints in response to pain. I was very impressed by Dr Dung's expertise in anatomy and clinical application to the practice of acupuncture. The illustrations are good and easy for the reader to follow.
The 3rd chapter offers "pain quantification" as a unique assessment tool. It describes the process of determining or estimating the conversion of acupoints. Their pain categories and quantification related to sequence numbers of acupoints lay the foundation for this book.
The 4th through 7th chapters classify and describe primary, secondary, tertiary, and nonspecific acupoints. The illustrations demonstrate the anatomical approach that becomes very practical and handy.
The 8th and 9th chapters outline the treatment plan, physiological reactions, and complications. I found these chapters very helpful, thanks to the authors' wisdom and expertise. There are so many clinical pearls awaiting the readers exploration.
The 10th chapter emphasizes the simple and straightforward manual needle stimulation technique. There is also good information regarding acupuncture needles, accessories, and alternatives to needles. The frequently asked questions by new patients were addressed as well.
The 11th through 15th chapters cover the specific conditions by anatomical region. I enjoyed reading and learning from both the descriptions and excellent illustrations. The case reports and treatment courses were fascinating. It will be especially encouraging for the beginner in acupuncture.
The appendix, "Review of Neuroanatomy as Applied to Acupuncture," is a bonus for the reader. It is definitely a must-read even prior to the clinical chapters.
I highly recommend this book to be included in introduction to acupuncture training courses for medical professionals. It would also be a stand-out in the library of any academic institution or personal collection.
Dr Eric Hsu is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, in Los Angeles, California.
Eric Hsu, MD*
Phone: 310-794-1841 • Fax: 310-319-2231
E-mail address: email@example.com
*Correspondence and reprint requests